Lesson 39

I Can Follow Jesus Christ by Serving Others

“Lesson 39: I Can Follow Jesus Christ by Serving Others,” Primary 2: Choose the Right A (1995), 212–16


To strengthen each child’s desire to follow Jesus Christ by serving others.


  1. Prayerfully study John 13:1–17 and Articles of Faith 1:13. See also Gospel Principles (31110), chapter 28.

  2. Prepare to sing or say the words to all three verses of “‘Give,’ Said the Little Stream” (Children’s Songbook, p. 236) and the fourth verse of “I Feel My Savior’s Love” (Children’s Songbook, p. 74). The words to these songs are included at the back of the manual.

  3. Prepare to tell about a time when you were blessed because you served someone.

  4. Materials needed:

    1. A Bible.

    2. Paper and pencils or crayons for each child.

    3. Picture 2-60, Jesus Washing the Feet of the Apostles (Gospel Art Picture Kit 226; 62550).

  5. Make the necessary preparations for any enrichment activities you want to use.

Suggested Lesson Development

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Follow up with the children if you encouraged them to do something during the week.

Jesus Christ Wants Us to Serve Others

Attention activity

As you begin the lesson, “accidentally” spill some crayons, papers, or other materials onto the floor of your classroom. Wait a moment before picking the items up to give the children a chance to help you. (If no children volunteer, ask the children to help.)

Thank the children for helping you and compliment them for taking an opportunity to serve. Explain that when we help others without asking for something in return, it is called service. Have the children repeat the word service with you.


Sing or say the words to all three verses of “‘Give,’ Said the Little Stream” with the children.

Point out that the last verse says we should give as Jesus gives. Tell the children that when Jesus was on the earth, he served other people often.

Scripture story

Show picture 2-60, Jesus Washing the Feet of the Apostles, and tell the story found in John 13:1–17. Remind the children that Jesus had called the Apostles shown in the picture to help lead his church.

Remind the children of what they learned in the previous lesson about the Last Supper. Explain that after Christ taught his Apostles about the sacrament, he taught them how important it is to serve others.

Explain that it was not unusual for people to have their feet washed, because most people wore sandals and their feet became very dusty and dirty. But usually a servant did this job. Explain that Peter did not want Jesus to wash his feet because he thought it was not right for Jesus to act as a servant.

Tell the children that Jesus explained to the Apostles that even though he was the Savior, he still served them. He wanted them to understand that they should serve each other. Read aloud John 13:15 and explain that Jesus wants us to follow his example and serve others.


  • Why did Jesus wash the Apostles’ feet?

  • What did Jesus want the Apostles to do?

  • What does Jesus want us to do?

Explain that Jesus Christ wants us to serve whenever we can, even if we are not asked to help or are not rewarded for our help. Point out that when we serve other people, we are following Jesus.

We Can Serve Others in Many Ways


Ask the children to listen as you tell in your own words the following story of a young boy who thought of a way to serve his family:

“It was so dark that the sleepy seven-year-old boy could hardly find his way down the path to the barn. He had planned for days how he could get out of bed, dress, creep quietly down the stairs, take the milking bucket from the pantry shelf, and leave the house without waking anyone.

“… [Joseph] had seen his sister, Mary, milk the cow many times. He found it wasn’t as easy as he thought it would be. … Before long his fingers and wrists ached. He had to stop often to rest them. …

“The boy was so intent on milking that he did not realize how long it had taken, and was surprised to find that daylight had come … when he finally left the barn and started for the house. As he entered the kitchen, Mother looked up from the stove where she was preparing breakfast, and asked, ‘Why, Joseph, what have you been doing so early in the morning?’

“He held up the filled milk bucket in answer, and felt a warm rush of joy at his mother’s smile of approval. ‘Well,’ she said, ‘since it seems you are big enough, milking each morning will be your job.’ She paused and then questioned, ‘But why is it you were so anxious to milk that cow?’

“Joseph lifted an earnest face to his mother as he answered, ‘I just want to help while Father is on his mission. And you see, [Mary] has so many other things to do, I thought if I could take care of the morning milking, she wouldn’t have to worry about that!’

“… His mother put her arms around him and held him close as she said, ‘How pleased your father will be when I write and tell him that he has a fine young man to take care of milking the cow while he is away!’” (Lucile C. Reading, “The Morning Chore,” Children’s Friend, Apr. 1970, p. 23).

Tell the children that this young boy’s name was Joseph Fielding Smith, and he became the tenth President of the Church when he grew up.

  • How did Joseph Fielding Smith serve?

  • Whom did he serve?

Article of faith

Tell the children that the thirteenth article of faith says that we believe in serving others. Have the children stand, and help them say, “We believe … in doing good to all men.” (You may need to explain that all men means all people.)


Ask every child who wants to be a disciple (follower) of Jesus Christ to stand up and remain standing. Remind the children that Jesus wants all his disciples to serve others.

  • How can we serve others?

Let each child sit down as he or she names a way to serve others.

If a child has difficulty thinking of a way to serve, you may want to suggest one of the following ideas or another idea appropriate for the children in your class:

  • Tell or read a story to someone younger.

  • Draw a picture for your parents or grandparents.

  • Put away the toys your brother left out.

  • Set the table for dinner without being asked.

We Are Happy When We Serve


  • Who is happy when we serve? (Answers may include the people we are serving, ourselves, and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.)

Emphasize that when we serve others, not only are the people we help happy, but we are happy too.

  • Why does it make you happy to serve others?


Sing or say the words to the fourth verse of “I Feel My Savior’s Love” with the children. (If the children do not know the fourth verse, you may want to sing or say the words to the verse yourself and then have the children join in on the chorus.)


Art activity

Help the children think of simple acts of service they could complete today, whether at church or at home. Give the children paper and crayons or pencils and have each child draw a picture of an act of service he or she will do today. Have the children show and explain their pictures to each other.


Tell the children about a time when you were blessed by serving someone else. Testify that true happiness comes from serving others.

Encourage the children to watch for ways they can serve others this week. You may want to ask the children to report in class next time on their experiences with service.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer.

Enrichment Activities

Choose from the following activities those that will work best for the children in your class. You can use them in the lesson itself or as a review or summary. For additional guidance, see “Class Time” in “Helps for the Teacher.”

  1. Arrange in advance for an act of service the children could complete together during class (make sure this service activity is appropriate for the Sabbath).


    • Arrange with the nursery teacher to have your class sing a favorite Primary song to the nursery children.

    • Bring materials for the children to make thank-you cards for the Primary chorister and pianist.

    • Help the children do what is necessary to prepare the classroom for the next class or for the coming week, such as erasing the chalkboard and putting away chairs.

    After the children complete the act of service, discuss with them how they felt about serving. Remind them that serving can make us happy.

  2. Make three small paper hearts for each child. Tell the children that you want to start a “Service in Secret Club.” Encourage the children to take these hearts home and do secret acts of service for their family members, leaving a heart in each place they did an act of service. For example, they could make a brother or sister’s bed and leave a heart on the pillow. Ask the children to report back next week on the feelings they had when they served others in secret.

  3. Sing or say the words to the second verse of “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus” (Children’s Songbook, p. 78). The words to this song are included at the back of the manual.

  4. Have the children sit in a small circle on the floor. Gently toss a beanbag or other soft object to a child and ask him or her to name a way to serve someone. When the child has answered, he or she may toss the beanbag to another child in the circle. Continue until everyone has had at least one turn to name an act of service.

  5. If it is available in your area, show “The Gift” (16 min.) from the videocassette The Worth of Souls (53147) in place of telling the story about Joseph Fielding Smith.

  6. Let the children discuss or act out what they would do in each of the following situations if they were trying to serve others (adapt the situations as necessary to make them appropriate for the children in your class):

    • You are on your way to a soccer game. You are in a hurry, but as you walk down the street to the playing field you see an elderly woman drop a bag of groceries.

    • You have been at a friend’s house playing. You are very tired. As you walk into the yard you see your father working in the garden.

    • As you come into the kitchen to get a drink, you see your brother washing the dinner dishes.

    • You are walking home with some friends. You see that a dog has knocked over a trash can in a neighbor’s yard and has scattered the trash around. The neighbor is away and won’t be back for a few days.

    • You see a new girl in school and introduce yourself. The new girl asks you where you eat lunch. You had planned to eat lunch with your friends.

    • Your family is getting ready to go to church. Your father has already left because he had a meeting to attend. You have several little brothers and sisters who need help getting ready.